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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yeah another stocking question. Looking for a little input. I've done mbuna in the past and I miss them. I want to try one of the blue/yellow dimorphic species and build around that while trying different species. I'm trying to avoid too many drab females. I've settled on two options that I think are safe and one that I really like but it may be better suited for a six foot tank. My aim is for 1-2 male/3-5 females with maybe a couple more females for the dimorphic group to even the color palette. Thanks in advance for any advice.

Standard 90 gallon with alot of rock. Letters are interchangeable in all groups if you see some changes that might work/look better.

Option #1
a. Saulosi
b. Maingano
c. Rusties
d. Lab. "Perlmutt"

Option #2
a. Msobo
b. White top Hara
c. Rusties
d. White labs

Option #3
a. Pseudotropeheus interruptus
b. White top Hara
c. Labeotropheus trewavasae "Chilumba"
d. Pseudotropheus perspicax "Orange cap Ndumbi"

Which would you choose? Any concerns, specifically the Maingano in #1, and the perspicax and interruptus in #3?
 

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I like #1 because it has the most bright blue fish.

Perspicax is reputedly VERY aggressive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm leaning towards #1, especially the first three. I've never seen Lab "Perlmutt" in person though. Seems they should offer good contrast with the others, but I'm not sure. Any other suggestions for a 4th species with interesting looking females? White labs are an option but want something different.
 

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Start with a species you find the most interesting, and not just obsessing with full color, you never get all of the fish looking their best anyway. Perlmutt offer some level of dimorphism, males looking much more interesting than White Labs, while White Labs would be more reliably brightly colored as a group but kinda boring.

Msobo are very cool, very fun to watch the males slowly color up to black. Saulosi are cute and make a much easier community tank, with a big school. See which you can get quality fish.
White Hara would make a nice contrast but watch out for mislabeled fish.
Then Perlmutt as a third.
Maybe Rusties as filler if room.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
noki said:
Start with a species you find the most interesting, and not just obsessing with full color, you never get all of the fish looking their best anyway.
Ha. If I chose for interest, it would be another tank full of Tangs, or attempting a mbuna/peacock mix. :D This one is kinda for the wife, and in the living room. So loaded with color and activity is the goal. The tank has had a solo Flowerhorn or Red devil in there forever, which guests love but I'm bored with it. Just to see some courting/breeding behavior in there again will be nice.

Perlmutt offer some level of dimorphism, males looking much more interesting than White Labs, while White Labs would be more reliably brightly colored as a group but kinda boring.
This was my thinking too.

Msobo are very cool, very fun to watch the males slowly color up to black. Saulosi are cute and make a much easier community tank, with a big school. See which you can get quality fish.
I'll be ordering online through a well known source so I have to assume they'll be top-notch. I've had LFS msobo before but they never really colored up that well, which lessens the appeal to try again, I guess. Interruptus would be my first choice as a feature species. I love the color and shape of them. But maingano and saulosi together offer more of that male coloring and shape along with a yellow/blue dimorphism so I think I'll lock those two in.

White Hara would make a nice contrast but watch out for mislabeled fish.
I worried about issues with the saulosi males. Any experience with these two together?

Then Perlmutt as a third.
Maybe Rusties as filler if room.
I'm going to order four species, possibly five, as juveniles. Can always move some out later. Go big or go home, right? Always working the wife for another six-foot tank anyways. :lol:
 

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I had hara with demasoni (similar look to saulosi) and the hara did not do well. I would not do it, but if you want to try...the saulosi are nicer so success is not out of the question.
 

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I have saulosi with Afra Jalo Reef and they seem to get along fine. Never had Hara though (definitely one for my next tank) so not necessarily the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the responses. It's always reassuring to have some input when ordering fish you haven't worked with. I'm gonna roll with group 1 and probably add the Hara in as a fifth option. I have a 55 I can quickly set up for problem/extra fish as they grow. Came in handy when doing an all male hap tank. Mix and match till they settle in then trade/sell the castoffs.

I want a 2 M/5-7 F for the Saulosi, and I'm aware that Maingano will probably need a 1 M/4-5 F ratio and but does anyone see a problem with going 1 M/2-3 F on the Rusties, Hara or Perlmutt long term?
 

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You don't really want two males of something, since the alpha may hate at the second male too much, try to have a larger group, you can probably get away with 3 or more Saulosi males for awhile, but get a larger group of juveniles and hope you get many females. Think kinda like a Tropheus or Cyprichromis tank. Since everyone wants Saulosi females and picks them out, you may get 2 times more males than females. Also, if the females are dull or pale yellow to begin with, they are not going to improve with age. Lot of low quality Saulosi out there.

Maingano are hard to sex, so you may have to get alot to get that ratio. Good Maingano look great when small.

Less groups can be better, like your 90g Opthalmotilapia ventralis "Mpimbwe" Cyprichromis leptosoma "Chituta" tank. With both Saulosi and Hara, one dominant male may suffer. The Rustie male may not show dominant color, but I suppose they are harmless, I just look at them at being kinda filler in tanks like this. Sometimes you can find attractive Rusties but they never really are the show fish in a mixed tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
noki said:
You don't really want two males of something, since the alpha may hate at the second male too much, try to have a larger group, you can probably get away with 3 or more Saulosi males for awhile, but get a larger group of juveniles and hope you get many females. Think kinda like a Tropheus or Cyprichromis tank. Since everyone wants Saulosi females and picks them out, you may get 2 times more males than females. Also, if the females are dull or pale yellow to begin with, they are not going to improve with age. Lot of low quality Saulosi out there.

Maingano are hard to sex, so you may have to get alot to get that ratio. Good Maingano look great when small.

Less groups can be better, like your 90g Opthalmotilapia ventralis "Mpimbwe" Cyprichromis leptosoma "Chituta" tank. With both Saulosi and Hara, one dominant male may suffer. The Rustie male may not show dominant color, but I suppose they are harmless, I just look at them at being kinda filler in tanks like this. Sometimes you can find attractive Rusties but they never really are the show fish in a mixed tank.
Sound advice. And I completely understand your point about less is more. It is something I need to keep in mind.

I should have indicated that I'll buy double the # of females I want, 12-15 Saulosi, 10 Maingano, and 6 of the others in this case, assuming they're too young to be sexed, which I prefer. Those ratios were end-result goals. I was under the impression that 2 Saulosi males were probably achievable. I just don't want to start with over 40 juvies, while at the same time, maximizing my options. I wouldn't hesitate to move out a species if it isn't working. In my mind, I visualize a Saulosi and Maingano dominated tank with a couple accent species. I just don't think I'll make up my mind until they're in the tank for a bit lol.

My prior experience tells me that mbuna tanks are rarely stagnant for long. I had the happiest tank when selling off adults as soon as their off spring was large enough to replace them, which was every two years or so as I remember. The population would grow to 40 or so, then sell/trade half or more, maybe add something new, rinse-repeat. I also had good luck keeping lower male to female ratios this way. My Jalo Reef and Marmalade trewavasae were both 3rd generation when I decided to try something different. This time around, I am aiming for a little more stability after the first year.
 

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I'd do 1m:7f on the maingano.
 

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Hi,

I'm going to hijack this thread and ask a quick related question. If one substituted the Saulosi for Msobo, would the Msobo male hold his own with the Maingano? I'm getting geared up to restock my 5 ft 120G. Previously I had a large group of Maingano with Hara and Yellow Labs. The Big Hara thought he was the Boss. and it was really funny watching the dominate Maingano let him think he was boss. Maingano are so fast and agile that they would run three laps around the Hara while he tried to fight them. And if you havn't seen Maingano's they like to dart across the tank to make a point. They don't lip lock to fight as much as say the Hara, they then to fight with endurance.

If the Metriaclima sp Msobo and Maingano do work, then I'm thinking of having Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" as the 3rd species. Not sure what I'd choose for a 4th, or If I save the tank space for some Synodontis.
 

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mtbloco said:
Hi,

I'm going to hijack this thread and ask a quick related question. If one substituted the Saulosi for Msobo, would the Msobo male hold his own with the Maingano? I'm getting geared up to restock my 5 ft 120G. Previously I had a large group of Maingano with Hara and Yellow Labs. The Big Hara thought he was the Boss. and it was really funny watching the dominate Maingano let him think he was boss. Maingano are so fast and agile that they would run three laps around the Hara while he tried to fight them. And if you havn't seen Maingano's they like to dart across the tank to make a point. They don't lip lock to fight as much as say the Hara, they then to fight with endurance.

If the Metriaclima sp Msobo and Maingano do work, then I'm thinking of having Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" as the 3rd species. Not sure what I'd choose for a 4th, or If I save the tank space for some Synodontis.
Not really seen them together, but Msobo are relatives of the Zebra complex and have a similar personality and size, don't think they would be intimidated by Maingano. Both have the same superficial black and blue, not sure if this would be a problem. I agree that Maingano have that annoying Johanni attitude, not sure why Maingano get the peaceful label so much, still can be obnoxious.

3rd species, have you ever had Cobue or Jalo Cynotilapia "afra"? ... I like the personality and barring better than Hongi.
 

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mtbloco said:
Hi,

I'm going to hijack this thread and ask a quick related question. If one substituted the Saulosi for Msobo, would the Msobo male hold his own with the Maingano? I'm getting geared up to restock my 5 ft 120G. Previously I had a large group of Maingano with Hara and Yellow Labs. The Big Hara thought he was the Boss. and it was really funny watching the dominate Maingano let him think he was boss. Maingano are so fast and agile that they would run three laps around the Hara while he tried to fight them. And if you havn't seen Maingano's they like to dart across the tank to make a point. They don't lip lock to fight as much as say the Hara, they then to fight with endurance.

If the Metriaclima sp Msobo and Maingano do work, then I'm thinking of having Labidochromis sp. "Hongi" as the 3rd species. Not sure what I'd choose for a 4th, or If I save the tank space for some Synodontis.
I have a pair of nice Hongi (male and female) with Maingano and Metriaclima sp elongatus chewere in my 60g. It's not working out well for the male Hongi. He's a beautiful specimen, but he reduced to hiding much of the time. I will be separating them when I get my additional tank up and running.
 

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Let's return to OP's question. No need to hijack...you can always start a new thread.
 
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